Homicides on the rise

Wyndham had more homicides than any other municipality in the state in the year to September 30, 2015, new data reveals.

According to Crime Statistics Agency figures, homicide and related offences in that period took Wyndham from fifth – with seven homicides – in the previous year to the worst, with 12.

Victoria Police spokeswoman Clair White said it was important to remember the figures included not only murder but also attempted murder, accessory or conspiracy to murder, manslaughter, and driving causing death.

“Homicide is not an offence we typically see trend up or down as the offence numbers are usually quite low,” she said. “It’s an offence that occurs sporadically, with no real identifiable ‘spikes’ throughout a calendar year.”

The statistics include all charges laid by police. They include the deaths of three children who died when the car they were in ended up in Lake Gladwell, Wyndham Vale in April last year. Akon Goude has been charged with three counts of murder and one of attempted murder.

They also include the stabbing of a 30-year-old Werribee man in July. Two Melton South men, aged 36 and 21, are on remand on murder charges in relation to the stabbing.

Neighbouring local government area, Brimbank, ranked second in the state with 11 homicide cases.

In another category, Wyndham weapons- related offences rose from 382 to 462. Wyndham police’s Inspector Frank Sells said these figures suggested police were doing a good job in removing weapons from the community.

“There has been a net increase of 80 offences, driven mainly by the seizure of a large number of knives from one incident in September 2015,” Inspector Sells said. This matter remained under investigation.

The number of burglaries in the same year, to September 30, jumped by 239 cases to 1836, the second-highest number in the western suburbs. “This is against a population increase of 11,657 residents to the area during the same period,” Inspector Sells said.

“For the past two years we’ve seen reductions in burglary offences, and to sustain those reductions in one of the fastest-growing local government areas in the state has been a challenge. We have a dedicated burglary crew in Wyndham who continue to work on this type of offending.”

He said new housing estates had been targeted by burglars, which was likely due to the lack of people and vehicles passing through these areas until the development increased.